Zion National Park
Zion National Park. Photo by Carl Berger/Flickr
For more than 28 years, Dallen and Karen Spendlove and their four children have been excellent stewards for a slice of extraordinary landscape on the Colorado River Plateau: their 2,400-acre ranch in southern Utah. Nestled on Smith Mesa adjacent to Zion National Park, this working ranch offers unparalleled views of the park’s renowned Kolob Peak and the spectacular natural rock formations of Kolob Finger canyons.
The Spendloves have a strong commitment to both conservation and their land, but like many ranchers of modest means, they do not have the resources to place a conservation easement on their property. And like many other landowners in rapidly growing areas of the West, they are under tremendous pressure to sell for development.
The Spendloves needed help, and, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Fund was able to assist the family in preserving both a working landscape and open space in Washington County. We purchased a conservation easement from the Spendloves, thus protecting the ranch in perpetuity—to the benefit of the owners, the local community and the public as a whole.
The Spendloves’ traditional ranching values are now secure, and the remarkable view into Zion National Park remains unimpaired. This successful story stems from a strong partnership between the Spendloves, the anonymous donor, the Fund, the Virgin River Land Preservation Association and Washington County officials.